January 3, 2009

Want to know why you don't know what's going on anymore?

There is something terribly depressing about this piece in Governing that features quite a bit on the collapse of state government news coverage in Connecticut. While independent online journalists like Christine Stuart at ctnewsjunkie.com are paving a path toward some kind of future, the simple reality is that right now the state is heading into a fiscal swamp and almost nobody's watching what our leaders are doing in all that muck.
When it comes to watchdogs, the more you have, the more likely you'll hear from at least one when there's something noteworthy going on. Stuart's a pretty solid reporter -- and I can't help but admire her pluck -- but she's not the equivalent of a Capitol press corps.
And as reporters vanish from the political landscape, ignorance of government rises. I can't imagine how Connecticut can function as a thriving democracy when almost nobody knows what the hell is going on anymore.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

14 comments:

Concerned Conservative said...

I agree Steve, and I believe the situation may be getting worse. But as far as people not knowing what's going on in the Legislature, I believe this has been going on for years/decades. I believe this is especially true since the Education Enhancement Act and the growth in power of the public unions. As one who is close to someone who clerked for the Legislature, I believe people (tax payers in particular) would be appalled at what goes on at every committee session (especially Law, Appropriations, and other committees that are heavily lobbied by special interests mainly looking for money). I don't believe people have any idea what's going on in the Legislature and their tax dollars.

I M Concerned said...

Steve, I agree with you that the demise of the newspapers will create a big hole.

However, even when we find out what is going on, or what went on, we still reelect the same people.

Do you think that Dodd won't get reelected?

Look at the legislature, who ignored, or did so at least publicly, the impemding fiscal situation BEFORE the election.

And locally, it will be no different.

Big money has prostituted the political process, and it will get worse until the people wake up and take action, either with a third party, or a political revolt.

I will say that the media has contributed to this situation.

Locally we vote on "familiarity", rarely on issues.

And when someone wants to "do the job", they do not get party support, either party, and the people fall back on personalities.

We are on a slippery slope!

Anonymous said...

The press has done a poor job of Chris Dodd's corruption with Freddie Macn and Fannie Mae.

In fact, the Connecticutt Post refuses to print letters critical of Chris Dodd's role in the collapse of the economy.

The Bristol Press has done a poor job of that as well and I doubt they will change by January 16, 2009.

Steve Collins said...

The Bristol Press covers -- get ready, 'cause this will astound you -- Bristol! It doesn't really cover Chris Dodd except when the man shows up in, surprise!, Bristol.
We rely on the Associated Press for Dodd coverage, such as it is.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Bristol, CT in Connecticutt?

Didn't the Bristol Press go after John Rowland?

Oh wait, he was a Republican.

Steve Collins said...

Actually, we had absolutely nothing to do with what happened to Rowland. The only local coverage of that entire fiasco that I can recall was about Rep. Hamzy's role on the committee looking into impeachment.

I M Concerned said...

I was talking about the media in general, and certainly regarding Dodd, and others, there are other reporting entities.

The local reporting could be better regarding local issues, especially the need for some invetigaive reporting, some in depth research.

Yes, it will be even less if the Press goes, but until then, every little bit helps.

Wake Up said...

You all need to put your personal issues aside and grasp the fact that without a media resource, that you might have disagreements with, will never have an expressed outlet. It is getting near crunch time, put your crap aside and hope that some entity still believes.

Anonymous said...

There's no one watching Colapietro? Did anyone ever watch Colapietro?

Anonymous said...

11:30

Why didn't/don't the Republicans run someone against Colapietro?

What about Hamzy?

wonder said...

somewhat sad that we can't even give colapitreo a race.

Anonymous said...

Wonder,

Call TJ Barnes: he will explain it all to you.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching Tom C. I am very impressed with his record of no votes where the CBIA has lobbied for their way. What I don't understand is what the education enhancement act has to do with the lack of coverage at the Capitol. I have not seen or heard of any Union blockades preventing the news media from reporting whats happening at the Capitol.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me a good honest politician with some brains could beat Tom C. All it would take is one debate.